Burning bodega forces employees, tenants out in Hartford - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Burning bodega forces employees, tenants out in Hartford

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A fire broke out at a 3-story building in Hartford Thursday morning. (WFSB photo) A fire broke out at a 3-story building in Hartford Thursday morning. (WFSB photo)
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

Firefighters in Hartford were called to a fire at a 3-story building with a store on the ground floor and homes above it.

Dispatchers reported the fire near Campfield and Maple Avenues in Hartford's Barry Square around 7:45 a.m. Thursday morning.

"It's the neighborhood store, now it's gone," said Carlos Torres. "It's gonna be a loss for the Hispanic community around here."

Flames were seen shooting from the top of the building at 606 Maple Ave. Firefighters said it was a tough fire to fight.

Maple Avenue was closed. Police advised drivers to take Broad Street, Wethersfield Avenue or Fairfield Avenue as alternate routes.

According to officials, two people were inside the first-floor bodega at the time of the fire. Two people were on the second floor. One lady had rocks thrown at her window by neighbors to wake her up.

One person was already outside by the time firefighters arrived.

"They open early for breakfast, they sell sandwiches, everything," Torres said.

Police said no one was hurt.

The smoke could be seen from an Eyewitness News iCam in Hartford.

Firefighters said they had to make the call to fight the fire from the outside. They also said it'll be a long task to make sure it's completely out.

"We try and extinguish as much as possible to try to make it safe to do that overhaul," said Asst. Chief Darren Hudson, Hartford Fire Department. "In a fire like this, there's going to be little areas you have to get in on with a hand line, but if it's not safe we'll do it by continuing to put water on it to put it out."

Hudson said the fire appeared to have begun on the first floor and climbed up through the building. That made it hard to fight.

"Getting at the fire, because at the peak of the building, we can't send anybody in," he explained. "If the fire is burning up into the crevice below that peak, we can't really get a good shot with the stream up there through the windows. So you have to wait for the fire to show itself before you can put it out."

The owner of the bodega did not wish to speak with Eyewitness News on camera, but said she's been in the building for about four years and does have insurance.

Neighbors said the loss of the business is a big one for the community.

"Goes to show life's materialistic objects come and go, you have to be careful with whatever you do in your home," Torres said. "It's scary, but everyone's ok, and that's all that matters."

The cause remains under investigation.

See more photos of the fire here.

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